Stargazing at the Waterfront - 2016 September 10

posted: 404 days ago, on Sunday, 2016 Sep 11 at 01:21
tags: astronomy, outreach, StarPeople, Waterfront, Cape Town.

We enjoyed lovely weather and over 570 guests at Saturday's astronomy outreach at the Waterfront. The usual team (Ed, Lynnette, Alan, Rose, Dirk, Wendy, and myself) assembled, later to be joined by Eddy Nijeboer. Eddy will be joining us for the next events - welcome and thank you, Eddy!

Wendy had a new 'scope to deploy, and with Dirk's help it was soon showing great views. I had a chance to try out her really cool iOptron 8432 Universal Smartphone Eyepiece Adaptor - #want.

The wind was pretty horrible throughout the day and night, which may partially account for the lower-than-expected turnout.

Towards the end of the evening I went to find a "dark" spot and took a series of SQM-L readings. It was tricky to find a location free from direct light, but a corner behind Den Anker seemed good. Ten measures showed a sky brightness of 17.37 +/- 0.05 mags/sq.arcsec., which pegs the skies here as being worse than Brackenfell, Gordon's Bay beachfront and the War Museum in Johannesburg. On a brighter note, the coffee is much better.

Pics and captions of the day follow, and future dates at the bottom of the page.

(left-top) Our first visitors for the day. Alan Cassells (with the 5-inch BrettScope) and Ed Foster (with 10-inch Lorenzo).

(left-bottom) Alan and Ed in full swing.

(right-top) Business end of Lorenzo.

(right-bottom) Alan and Ed in full swing.

(right) Alan handing over the Best-Dressed Guest Award.

(left-top) Dirk Rossouw aligned on the Moon.

(left-bottom) Wendy Vermeulen and her latest telescope.

(right-top) Dirk dark adapting.

(right-bottom) Animated discussion with Wendy.

(left) What outreach is really about - discussion.

(right) Last chance to see.

(top) Just after sunset, with the Girdle of Venus and Earth's shadow.

(bottom) Wendy's fabulous birthday gift from her son - an iOptron cellphone holder with built-in eyepiece. Lush. The accompanying lunar image does it no justice, as the wind was terrible.

(top-left) Alan's new high-power laser pointer made finding Saturn easy.

(top-right) Earl nigh-time visitors, with Ed (left), Wendy and Eddy (centre) and Dirk (right). Alan had slopped off to Den Anker for a few beers by this time.

(bottom-left) Dirk and Security, looking at Mars.

(bottom-right) Our last guests, a lovely bunch from Namibia.

As was our custom and is now our tradition, coffee at Den Anker after tear-down. (l.t.r.) Ed, Lynnette, Alan, Rose, Eddy, and Wendy.

Upcoming dates:

Saturdays: October 8, November 5 & December 10

Venue:

V&A Waterfront Swing Bridge

Time:

13:00 - 21:00 (weather permitting)

Event details:

V&A Waterfront Events Calendar

Past events

May 14, June 11, July 09, August 13.

nothing more to see. please move along.